Press Releases

May 19, 2011

APIASF Applauds the U.S. Department of Education for Recognizing Postsecondary Institutions Enrolling Asian American and Pacific Islander Students

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tia T. Gordon
TTG+Partners
202-906-0149
tgordon@ttgpartners.com

Department of Education Web Site Now Includes Asian American and Native American
Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions in "Minority-Serving Institutions" List

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the nation's largest nonprofit organization devoted solely to providing college scholarships for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPIs), would like to extend our appreciation to Secretary Arne Duncan, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Office for Civil Rights, for their efforts to become more inclusive of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) and adding them to the list of Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). The Department of Education's Web site identifies MSIs as institutions of higher education "enrolling populations with significant percentages of minority students, or that serve certain populations of minority students under various programs created by Congress." This landmark change allows AANAPISIs to be recognized and listed among other well-known MSIs such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

This important addition to the Education Department's Web site will make federally-supported opportunities and resources set aside specifically for designated MSIs more accessible to AANAPISIs. Participants during the 2010 APIASF higher education summit identified the need to include AANAPISIs on the Department of Education's Web site as a key recommendation for increasing opportunities and access to resources for AAPI students. APIASF is grateful to the Education Department officials, the many community organizations, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for their work to help achieve this goal.

APIASF is hopeful that with this new acknowledgement comes increased investment in the AANAPISI program, including funding to increase the number of AANAPISIs as well as provide additional resources for the AANAPISI program to outreach to and raise awareness among other federal agencies.

As we look to host this year's higher education summit*, our goal will be to encourage federal lawmakers to pay more attention to AAPI students by considering them in various policy discussions such as those centered around the national college completion agenda. On behalf of the entire AAPI student population–in fact, all underserved students, which also includes African-American, Hispanic, Native American, and low-income students–APIASF thanks the Education Department for taking the necessary steps to address these students' unique educational needs and experiences.

Editor's Note: The 2011 APIASF College Completion Forum: Strengthening Institutions that Serve Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is being held June 27-28, 2011 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. All members of the media should address their requests to Tia T. Gordon at (202) 906-0149 or tgordon@ttgpartners.com. Also, visit www.apiasf.org.

About APIASF
Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted solely to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Since 2003, APIASF has provided a critical bridge to higher education for APIA students across the country by distributing more than $40 million in scholarships to students. APIASF manages two scholarship programs: APIASF's general scholarship and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.